Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kittens at play

Here's a chance to see how big and playful our fluffballs are getting.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The fast and the furious

The kittens are getting faster and more coordinated. It's not unusual to enter the family room and have all three of them scamper out from under the couch. If you don't immediately sit or line down, they'll congregate around your feet and mew until you give them attention. They're climbing the couch now as well, and play-fighting with each other more ferociously. Their teeth are these little razor sharp spikes - when they bite now IT HURTS. Of course, they get a dose of their own medicine when Dee gets fed up and holds one down and bites them. It looks quite disturbing, but she will bite, then lick, then bite, then lick. She's teaching them who is boss, while still showing them she loves them. It's funny to watch.

The other evening Dee was eating out of her bowl. A moment after she finished, Catwings toddles up to the bowl and starts eating like a big boy. He ate three crunchies before deciding it was too much work. I've tried introducing them to wet cat food, but Dee tends to chow down before the kittens get much. Maybe I need to lock her in the bathroom to give them a fighting chance...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kittens getting playful

The kittens have finally hit the playful stage. Although they are quite tentative about it, they are beginning to bite and jump on each other. It's quite funny watching Raiden stalking the tail of one of his siblings. They are also scampering faster and further than before. It's not unusual to enter the room to find them under the couch, by the door, or across the room from their nest. They also love to climb onto people who are willing to lie down on the floor.

It's particularly funny when one of the kittens disappears under the couch. Dee gets quite concerned, chirping at the invisible kitten until it re-emerges.

The kittens continue to be cuddly and love sleeping in a heap, whether it's on the ground or in someone's arms.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's been a while since I updated the blog. The kittens are growing rapidly now. Their ears are open and they are starting to orient towards sounds. They are toddling around, particularly when they see someone come into the room and sit down. It's particularly cute to see them scamper over and start to climb up the person sitting closest to them.

They are also much more aggressive while nursing. I will often look over and see the kittens scrabbling at each other to get to their favorite teat. Dee seems quite tolerant, but she will just stand up and walk away if she's fed up.

They have become incredibly cuddly. One of their favorite activities is to be held in someone's arms on their back. They fall asleep and then they hit REM sleep. As they dream about nursing, their little tongues start going, and you can often see them sleeping with their tongue sticking out.

I'm seeing lots more play activity as well. It's not surprising to see them climbing on and biting each other. Dee seems to be much rougher with them as well. She will hold them down to wash them, and gently bite them, then wash them again. She is also getting more playful with us when they are sleeping; throwing up the toy mouse and chasing after it, or batting at shoelaces as we walk past. It's going to be so much fun seeing the kittens attack her on mass when they're a bit older!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Back on track

Raiden is gaining weight again! Hooray.

More pics:

The three amigos on a rampage.

Catwings and my daughter.

Kittens in da hood
More kittens in da hood
There is nothing quite as wonderful as the sound of purring kittens nursing. It's such a joy to watch Dee's three little pudges taking full body pleasure in their meal.

No more sick kittens, please!

OK, now I am officially worried. Raiden has had diarrhea for 24 hours now, and he didn't gain weight yesterday. This morning he is down from 11.7 oz. to 11.6 oz. Not a good sign. I've given him some Pedialyte and formula in hopes it will keep him from dehydration. Plus, I have placed all three kittens in a box because I found them all nursing *behind the toilet*. Not a great place for kittens to snuggle up. I'm hoping that Dee's not the one moving them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Exploration begins

Kara posing for the camera
"But I so pweddy!"

Coming to get you


We three sleepies

The disembodied meow

This morning my husband asked me if I had seen our cat, Merlynn. He said he could hear her meowing, but he hadn't seen her. I wondered if perhaps it was Dee expressing her displeasure at being in a smaller space. I went and checked on her and the kittens, but it was clear it was not her meowing.

We started hunting around for Merlynn. We opened the front and back doors and called to her. We opened the garage door. No Merlynn. I went upstairs and opened one of the bathroom windows (her favorite escape route). No Merlynn. I checked the linen closet. Nope. So finally, I went back downstairs and heard another meow. Ah ha! Cupboards. We started opening all the cupboard doors when suddenly, my daughter heard a sharp meow. She turned around and opened the FRIDGE door. Out popped Merlynn! She had jumped into the fridge earlier when my older daughter had gotten ready for school. Needless to say, she was pleased to be out and cuddled. The particularly humorous thing about this is that she did EXACTLY the same thing as a kitten - and was stuck in there for nearly an hour. Thank goodness for fur coats.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We are slowly adjusting to having only three kittens. They continue to grow - they're all so fat! They're like little tubs of fat with stubby legs attached.

The whole family has temporarily been moved to our main bathroom, as the grandparents are coming to visit for a few days. Dee was a bit perplexed at first, but the move has prompted her to spend more time sleeping & snuggling with her little ones.

All three kittens are hitting some "milestones" early based on what I have read online. They can all pull up on their little legs for brief moments. They all purr (it's such a wonderful sound) and they are getting more interested in their surroundings and each other. I'm not certain if Catwings is trying to groom himself or whether he is sucking his "thumb", but there is certainly some grooming like behavior going on.

The only concern I have is that when I went into the bathroom this evening to weigh them, Raiden's back end was wet and smelly. Dee was industriously washing him off, but it looked as though he had a bit of diarrhea. The other two were fine, so I will wait and see. Given that the kittens are doing other things ahead of schedule, I suppose Raiden's elimination function may be getting more mature and he doesn't need to be washed to go to the bathroom. This is all such a learning process for me.

So, as of this evening Catwings weighs 12.2 oz, Raiden weighs 11.7 oz. and Kara weighs 13.3 oz.

Pics tomorrow. I promise

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

R.I.P Little One

After getting Tag home this afternoon, she took a turn for the worse. She did not take much formula in the afternoon, and by mid-evening she was struggling to breath. I tried feeding her at 9 p.m., but she barely took a drop. I put her in with her litter mates, hoping that being around them would be comforting to her. When I woke to feed her at 11:30 p.m., she was gone. She slipped away quietly.

It is painful to lose her, but I take comfort in the knowledge that for the 16 days she lived, she was cherished. Her presence had meaning, and she will live on in my heart and thoughts.

Tag update

After an anxiety-filled night where I woke up every two hours to feed our little concern, I got up this morning to discover that she had lost more weight. I was feeling rather hopeless and useless. I took her in to Vet Services before my class started, and dropped her off with Ashley, fearing the worst.

When I returned at 1:15 this afternoon, Ashley greeted me with the news that she thinks that Tag is going to be OK, and that I am doing *everything* I should and could be. Tag began purring the minute I picked her up, and she also had a bowel movement while I was getting her ready to leave. This alleviated my fear that there might be something wrong with her intestinal tract.

So we are now cautiously optimistic - she will eat when I use an eye dropper, and there is nothing obviously wrong with her. She for whatever reason has a different growth curve than her sibs (who look like HUGE bruisers next to her).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Concerning turn of events

All the kittens seem to be growing nicely, except Tag. Her growth curve has never been as healthy as the other kittens, and she seems to have lost about 1/2 an oz in the past 36 hours. I tried feeding her with the kitten baby bottle with no success. So today I went and bought an eye dropper. I have been able to get her to drink about 1 tsp of kitten formula, and I made sure she pooped afterwards. Dee seems willing to nurse her, but since Tag is smaller than her sibs, I am afraid she's getting pushed out of the way. I have also found her on the side of the kitten pile a few times, so I'm concerned she might not be warm enough. And of course, reading websites about "fading kitten syndrome" doesn't help.

So right now I have her tucked into the front of my shirt, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket. She is sleeping, and she was purring when I stroked her head before. I know that I'm doing everything I can...I just wish there was a guarantee that it would all work out.

I have more pics to post but I may take a while to get to it, especially if Tag is going to need feeding every two hours.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lots of updates

All the kittens are getting much bigger. Kara and Catwings have both doubled their birthweights, and Raiden and Tag are nearly there. Yesterday I took Catwings and Tag to Vet Services to get Catwings eye and Tag's belly button checked. I was told that Tag's belly button would be fine. The vet opened Catwings' eyes and gave me some drops to put in them three times a day. This morning, Raiden's eyes are starting to open.

Each of the kittens is showing more personality every day. Kara (the one in the front of the picture) is definately the heavy-weight of the group. She can usually be found pushing her way into the center of the pile, or pushing her sibs out of the way of the food she wants.

Tag seems to be fairly adventurous. The other day, Dee stepped out of the cat carrier and flopped down beside it on the floor, clearly tired of being nursed on. Within 60 seconds, Tag had crawled out of the cat carrier and was latched on nursing again.

Raiden is sweet. He seems very happy to hang out with his sibs and just snooze. Finally, Catwings is small but feisty - he often manages to fend off Kara's attempts at stealing the nipple he's nursing on.

Delilia is such a beauty. She seems to be showing more of her kittenish nature now that she has more energy. She often chases a string or her fur mouse when she is not nursing. She also continues to be very affectionate. It is rare for her not to come and greet me when I enter the family room.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Back from quick trip

I have been away since Friday morning and boy, have the kittens grown! All of them still have their eyes closed, but Catwings seems to have a bit of an infection; his eye seems to be gummed up. I'm hoping that it will fix itself quickly, but if not, I will take him and Tag (who has a bump under her belly-button) in to see Vet services. I'm reluctant to expose them to any illnesses, but I also want to make sure they are well cared for.

Well, I'm off to bed. I will post more pics tomorrow after I have actually slept for more than 4.5 hours.